Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The main thing is, everybody believes they are right and everyone else is wrong. It all boils down to the fact that one person is right and everyone else is wrong. But who? Despite all the philosophies and religions I have studied, though they all sound very, very convincing, Christianity continues to emerge as the religious view that best, if not perfectly, jives with how the world really is- with the strong evidence of the resurrection being one of the key necessities of Christianity- and there is.
I will continue to study. However- I will worship Jesus Christ as Lord- because despite all other evidence, I have evidence of the holy spirit working miracles in my heart. Oh, how I wish all Christians would take the amazing gift they've been given seriously. What would happen if everybody realized just how much they've been enabled to do because of Jesus? What would happen if everyone realized just how glorious and amazing Jesus really is?
Friday, December 18, 2009
The Basic Tenets of Predestination (or, I hesitate to say, Calvinism)are these:
1. That all humans are in a state of total depravity, that none can come to God by himself, and that it must be a work of God's grace towards him, to "open his heart" (Acts 16:14) to the message of salvation. "No one is righteous!" (Romans 3) I have noticed this to be true in my own life, because I was exposed to the message of the Gospel for 18 years of my life yet was unable to respond to it until one day when I was reading the Bible last summer, and my heart began to truly see beauty in the words of the Bible. And so, this point is that it is God's work of salvation. God opens man's heart, God reconciles man with Himself in order that man can begin responding to the message of the Gospel. Otherwise, man could hear the message of the gospel a million times and not respond unless God opened his heart to understand it. Man is natural, and God's glory is spiritual- natural man cannot discern spiritual things unless he is born of the spirit by God. Jesus said that flesh gives birth to flesh, and spirit gives birth to spirit, but flesh does not give birth to spirit- it is incapable in its deprived state. (John 3:5-8) (1 Corinthians 2:14)
2.Now, I came to accept this (^) a couple weeks before I finally gave in to the Doctrine of Grace, it was in this time period that I began to have mental conflict with the idea. If God opens man's heart, then that means that God chooses who is saved, since it is his work. It means that man is saved on God's timing, at God's command, at the precise time God wills him to be saved. And, at the same time, this must also mean that God does not choose to save some people. This was not acceptable to me, and I rejected it totally, but I soon came to realize that it was the truth. This idea suggests that there is a number of people who God has chosen to save, they are called the elect. (Matthew 24: 22,24,31, Romans 11:7, -so on) These are written in the Book of Life of God. (Revelation 21:27)
3. Now, many will presume to say that Jesus only died for those in the elect, but I do not believe this. It says over and over again in the Bible that Jesus died for the whole world. (1 John 2:2) Now, I believe that because Jesus' sacrifice is divine, it is beyond our own contemplation. It is enough to pay for anything, because it is of God. In this way, how much Jesus paid for on the cross is immeasurable because it is almost infinite- because God had to die to pay for it. Considering the might of God, you would start to realize how this goes beyond human understanding. If Jesus only had to die for one person, his sacrifice would be sufficient. If He had to die for 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 people, his sacrifice would be sufficient, for He is God. In this way, he paid for the world's sins, for common grace, and through Him all things are made. This is my own view on the topic. Some may disagree for sure, but I've come to this.
4. The last point in my summarization of this doctrine is the perseverance of the saints. For those who have been called, all of them will be saved. Those who are written in the book of life are effectively called, and effectively saved, because they rely on God's power, not their own. "It is not thy grasp on Christ on saves you, but Christ himself"
Some other supports for this view are these verses-
Jesus saying that none can come to the father unless he draws them. (John 6:44)
Paul, in Romans 9 suggests that "It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy." (Romans 9:16). He says that God has allowed sinner's hearts to be hardened, and he opens the hearts of some, and not others- according to His will. He then anticipates the natural human reaction to this idea. "How could God not save some??" with the response in a quote from scripture "I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy."
There are other references in scripture to this doctrine.
This idea has, without a doubt, been the hardest to accept, because of the natural human side of me saying "How could God not save some people??? How can He be good??" This struggling damaged my faith for weeks until I was finally able to accept it. This human side of us is aroused because of Satan's lies that try to diminish our sin. Satan tries to make us believe that we do not deserve hell, but we certainly and totally do. We are totally bad and in total rebellion against God!
So all humans have gone in radical rebellion against God. Even if Jesus died for us, we are so lost in our sin, that we would never accept the light of God unless he allowed us to taste it's beauty through an act of His own intervention.
None of us even want God until He opens our hearts. I spent 18 years not caring about the gospel at all until God showed me how beautiful Jesus truly is!
In light of this, we can give even more glory to god, our own ability to give ourselves any credit has been cut off, (a favor to us from God himself, as we were created to live in awe of His glory!)
This doctrine may be unacceptable or very hard to grasp, it may even cause you to question the goodness of God. Remember this quote by Spurgeon "Whenever we cannot trace the hand of God, we must trust His heart" Remember the Cross. Jesus did not have to do it! But He did it anyway out of love!
If you find yourself to be wondering if you are part of the elect, consider that only those who are part of the elect become truly worried about this. Those who are not in the elect don't give care about God and haven't given Him a single thought all their lives. (Now, I re-read this last sentence, and decided to change it, but I realize that this is true. You can be a preacher and not give a care about the "things of God", you can be a preacher and not be saved. You can be a self-righteous Christian and never have given the things of God "Which no man has imagined or thought of" a thought. Doctrine and theology are not the things of God, they are only statements of views formed about God from the scripture. The things of God are the fruits of the spirit- which all branch out of love. How many "Christians" are in church these days who do no know love?) The fruit of the spirit is radical sacrifice. How easy is it to be a Christian these days and escape radical sacrifice for Christ? Very. In fact, the spiritual blindness in American churches has become so staggering that those who make radical sacrifices for Christ are sometimes persecuted by those in the Church.) Neither have those who are in the elect yet have not yet been saved. But perhaps in reading this article, you begin to question your own salvation, and you are resolved to dedicate yourself to Christ and actually start praying and reading the bible instead of claiming to be a christian, and God opens your heart and He becomes pleasing to you- in that case, you are part of the elect, as God has made Jesus beautiful to you. If you find yourself unable to see any beauty in the sacrifice of Christ, pray that God would change your heart, and he will!!!
Further edit- I forgot to add this!
This view does not rationalize any type of idea like "Well, I'll relax because God will take care of saving people across the world" That is ridiculous!!! In fact, God works through His people. "The only body that Christ has on this earth are the hands and feet of his children" Because I know that God works through me, I have even more confidence to go to another country and preach the gospel, knowing that it is not my own eloquence that will open their depraved hearts to the gospel, but God's spirit at work. This encourages me to follow the calling of the spirit and to take God's command "Preach the Gospel to all nations" seriously, trusting that his spirit is with me- working to open the hearts of those to whom I preach the gospel.
Also, some say that those of the Calvinist school of thought are arrogant because "God chose them". Am I to be arrogant or proud because God chose me? Was it because of my righteousness? Surely not! In this case, I am unceasingly thankful that God gave me his grace even in my all out rebellion against him! I am thankful for grace!
In the end- this view or Arminianism does not matter. This is God's mystery and business,and I was not made to understand all things here on earth! This is simply what I have come to believe.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I was beginning to desire things that I knew would give me nothing. I was starting to fall into weakness and slavery to the world, slavery to myself. Even as I reached out for the fruits of such desires, I knew they could give me nothing. Romans 6:21
But now, as I have spent time in prayer with the Holy One, I am renewed. My strength has returned and my heart is alive again.
God, I praise you because you give me the heart of a Lion! Without you, I am the weakest thing to walk to earth, but on your shoulders I can see the truth and taste the grace that carries me to victory.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I believe that prayer is the most important thing in our relationship with Christ. In fact- it is the relationship. I find that the more I pray, the more focused I am, the more energy I have, the more joyful I am, the more I feel a sense of purpose.
I went from praying around an hour and a half or so a day all last semester to praying about 10 minutes a day during the weeks of exams, and I've never experienced such a massive collapse in my willpower, energy, drive, and love. I don't pray and I don't see why i should see the infinite importance in someone's heart instead of their outer appearance.
Jesus was right when He said, "Pray so you won't fall into temptation." This is incredibly true.
My mind is totally focused on the things of Christ all day when I am in much prayer, my hope unwavering, my strength from God himself, my life totally purpose driven, my heart living in freedom.
Since my slack in prayer I have fallen into all kinds of sins in my heart and flesh, I have grown soft, I have lost my saltiness and my light has gone dim. I long more than anything on this earth to drink from that overflowing wellspring of life that is Christ the savior. Oh how I love it!!
I'm off to go pray- nothings stopping me from meeting with the one I love. My heart wants freedom!!
Friday, December 11, 2009
This is how you truly live. Jesus gives us a simple answer. We truly live by doing what the God of life seeks for us to do- His will.
"I| can| do| nothing| on| my| own.
As| I| hear,| I| judge,
and| my| judgment| is| just,
because| I| seek| not| my| own| will
but| the| will| of| him| who| sent| me.
If I seek my own will (If i just do whatever the passions of my body lead me to), I can accomplish nothing! Only when I live to do the will of my father in heaven can I truly live.
The only way I can judge justly (Do the right thing, make the right decisions, enjoy purity and true joy) is by seeking the will of God.
Paul once said that worldly wisdom was coming to nothing. I believe my own will as a fallen human being is synonymous with worldly wisdom. The only way to shatter my worldly wisdom, which accomplishes nothing, is to seek the will of God. For this is my bread of life- to be filled with the joy that comes from pursuing the passions of my creator, in whose image I am made.
If I do what my body wants to do.. - ex. facebook, lust, glorifying myself, being lazy, I accomplish nothing. All that I may "accomplish" doing these things is coming to nothing. The only way I can do something that counts for eternity is by seeking God's will.
A rephrased version of John 5:30.
Because I can do nothing of value on my own, being human, I seek the will and passion of the God of love. In this way, I make my life count. In this way, I can accomplish something other than nothing.
I can't do anything right by myself, but my life and my heart find significance and meaning in full submitting myself to the will of the God of the Universe. In this, I do what is right. In this, I truly live.
Some life examples? Earlier in my life, I had a huge desire to get really good at trumpet and be glorified by other people. This became my passion. My heart was broken because I found no significance in the praise of other people, even though it was my passion. One day the summer after God showed me the glory of pursuing somehting other than my body's passions, and I was captivated.
Truly living is getting caught up in God's will, According to Jesus.
So how do I judge what kind of life I should live if I truly desire to have LIFE in abundance? By what I hear from God!!
God's will is your sanctification, your freedom from sin, your rejoicing in His glory. Go for it!
What's really funny is that, with doubt, we feel such an unbelief in God, yet we still stand and pray to Him in confidence that SOMEONE is listening- because even though our minds are in conflict and experiencing doubt, our hearts still know our origin.
(If this is not your case, then be not afraid, for all kinds of doubt are possible, even those that make you lack confidence in prayer)
I recently went through about 2 weeks of ebbing and flowing doubt- but there were times when it became very intense- so intense that I actually planned on going and changing my major in college, because my future consists of ministry and more ministry.
A Christ follower to whom Christ has allowed the things of the world to grow dim in the light of His glory will be desperate when they experience doubt- because doubt tries to take away their only prize- Christ Himself.
Because of this, I write.
When you're desperate to know that the doubt your experiencing isn't rooted in the truth, know this.
This world is ruled temporarily by Satan, and he is the father of all lies. You would be very surprised at just how effective he is at crafting lies in our minds and hearts.
You go through suffering and you feel God should have come and rescued you, but He didn't. Satan begins to put inklings of doubt in your heart in light of the situation, when God simply allowed you to experience such suffering in order that you can experience the joys of righteousness that result from suffering.
You don't feel God's spirit in you, and so Satan begins to make you believe that, because you don't feel God's spirit, He is not there, does not exist. When you believe this, Satan's got you right where he wants you. And perhaps God was simply allowing His presence not to be felt in order that you would cry out to Him more and leave your love affair with the world.
In fact, God allows Satan to bring us tests and temptations, that we can know him better. The doubt I experienced a couple weeks ago was totally ordained by God, totally subject to his rule. Because of that doubt, I am so much more in awe of God's glory, so much more thankful, and more able to sympathize with those who deal with doubt.
Just as God allows us to be sick, to suffer, he also allows us to experience doubt in order that we see the truth of the gospel and how glorious it truly is as we long for it with such thirsty hearts. I remember thinking, as I experienced this doubt, "If this gospel is true, it is the greatest thing that could have ever happened in the history of the earth!" Doubt allows us to look at the gospel with longing.
Here's a couple verses from Mark.
So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?"
"From childhood," he answered. 22"It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
23" 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
24Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
25When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil[a] spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."
26The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He's dead." 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"
29He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer.[b]"
Notice that the man says he believes, but he also admits that he has doubts. Also notice that he asks Jesus for help with unbelief. He doesn't try to muster up his own trust, he simply asks Jesus to help his unbelief. "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
We must pray when we experience doubt, we must ask God for help, that he would help us overcome our unbelief. It is not something we can fix by ourselves.
Here's another example from John.
24Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
28Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
29Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
30Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.
Doubt is a common thing.
Here's a process that I read somewhere about dealing with doubt.
1. Focus on the Historical Fact of the Cross. Focus on the truth of God's existence.
3. Read Scriptures
4. Speak to a fellow Christ follower
5. Don't trust your feelings.
I hope this helps. First of all we must learn not to trust our own feelings, as they are subject to the lies of Satan. We can, however trust in God- who is complete truth and perfect in love. Romans 8:28- God allows things to happen to those who love Him all in the process of bringing them more joy and happiness in His Glory.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The Bible says that all things were made for the cross, and all things are held together by the cross. Thus, everything on earth was made for the cross. In the same way as the bible uses many of the things on earth that were "made for the cross" as analogous to the things of the message of (wisdom and maturity to those being saved, yet of folly and foolishness to those perishing) Jesus uses the most wonderful analogy of spiritual and physical of all time.
Have you ever been hungry and just totally empty and unsatisfied? You ate food (bread) and you were satisfied and happy again.
In the same way, Jesus IS the bread of life. If life is more than food or clothing, life must be our souls, and if our souls need spiritual bread just as much as our bodies need physical bread, then JESUS is the spiritual bread.
Otherwise, our souls try to run off of the temporary pleasure of worldly satisfaction and it will make us miserable.
A paraphrase from John Piper: "Once you realize this, everything changes. You will never read the bible, pray, or fight sin the same way again. When you realize that the fight for faith is the fight for your own joy, things start to become radical. ' I am the bread of your soul, John Piper, I am the bread of your life. You can try to eat satisfaction into your soul from anywhere else, but it will fail. I am the bread of life' Now, this doesn't mean that once our hearts are satisfied in Jesus we will never desire again. We experience cravings for the world constantly as we are fallen beings, but now, we know where to go for satisfaction. Now, we know that we were MADE to be satisfied by the glory of Jesus Christ. This changes EVERYTHING."
And so, we know that the only way to truly satisfy our souls is Jesus Christ.
How do we do that though? How do we satisfy ourselves with Christ? Or, how do we know him?
I'll just use some biblical explanations- To know God is to know love- and to love God is to love people. We are satisfied by the Glory and the very words of God, and all of the glory of God and the words of God lead to love. The freedom of Loving God to the full extent and loving people to the full extent is unfathomably joyful. To be satisfied in knowing Jesus (or, knowing his love expressed through righteousness) in knowing self sacrificing love, is to be satisfied with knowing Christ. To know Jesus is to know the reality of what has been done for us on the cross and to express thankfulness through the power of the Spirit, through love. It all boils down to love. Now, I say in no way that we are to put down the bible and just go out and love people. What do we know of love? Even our purest expression of love is filled with layers of selfish motives- but it is the spirit of God that sets us free from this slavery- through the "renewing of your mind" as Paul said it. Love comes through knowledge and through the spirit of Christ living and loving in us. The spirit teaches our hearts what it hears. We must pray, and read, with a desire to know God. And from this will come faith, hope, and love. And from God will come salvation.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
A well- known, well-to-do, wealthy man passed away after a long and good life.(Say his name is evan) His relatives mourned and his family desired his presence again. They rejoiced because he was "going to a better place", but they wept because they no longer saw him. The man was well known in church, well known and well spoken of all over his hometown. His days were over.
He now stands before the throne of God in all His glory, cowering in His presence. It is the judgment of God's people. "Evan, you're charged with transgressing against the Holy God of the Universe. What is your defense, my son?" Evan- "Well, I had a well paying job, and I had a stable family, God." __ "Evan, you're accused with sinning against the king of kings over all, the name above all names. What is your defense?" "Well, God, I went to church and I did a lot of repair work, I read my bible every day, even made friends with the preacher!" "Evan, don't you understand? You're charged with sinning against Yahweh, your God, your Father, the one you professed to love all of your life. What is your defense?" "Well God I prayed a little and read every night, I kissed my children goodnight. I was never looked down on, I made a lot of money, I was well respected, I never cussed, drank, smoked, I was always a good man" God- "Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"
Then another man comes before the throne of God to be judged for all of his actions and thoughts. He is weeping and covered in blood. He says, "God, have mercy on me! I am a sinful man" God begins to say, "My son, you have been accused of sinning against the Holy God of all. What is your defense?" The man cries out "God, my God! You, Jesus Christ, are my defense! I am covered in your blood and can bring you nothing else but your own blood." God- "This is the truth. My son, you now live with me, because you have been redeemed and paid for by my blood- I AM has bled for you."
Not unless we are wrapped in Christ can we enter the kingdom of Heaven. Beware- heaven isn't as widely spread of a destination for people after death as people think it is. Even Jesus said that there was a very narrow, hard, long, twisting, winding, uphill trail to heaven, that not many follow.
What does it mean to be wrapped in Christ?
It means our appetites have changed. While once we desired the satisfaction of the earth, we now desire the satisfaction of knowing Christ.
Christ has not come to give us bread, but to BE the bread.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
This world isn't enough for me. I've got my heart set on a holy name.
You bring Hope to he hopeless God, and I was surely hopeless.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I have filled myself with lust, all i ended up in was slavery. I have a lot of money right now because of the job i've been blessed with, but it's all pointless, it trys to give me a false sense of success, but i can see right through it. I've practiced my trumpet and gotten really good, had people look up to me- complete slavery to having people thinking nice thoughts about me. I've gotten really good at guitar, recorded many songs, composed all kinds of music that was pretty awesome (thank you GOD for your gifts, as they are all of YOU). (i won't put on a false humility anymore. i've been given some pretty awesome gifts, but all of them our out of the way more awesome grace of Christ in order to further his kingdom among his people- given to a horrible sinner like me. i rejoice in his love.) All this music success filled me and left me, with nothing except wishing i could live in the limelight again. I've been respected, honored, exalted, i was left miserable.
Even if i took my musical skills to hollywood and got rich and famous- i would still be miserable.
The things that seem to promise us so, so much, are the very things that will take our life away from us.
If we were created by God, and our purpose is to glorify him- our happiness also lies in glorifying Him- And if our happiness lies in glorifying God- i'm going ALL out. Cause you know what??? I WANT TO BE HAPPY! And i can attest to this truth- I'm so happy. Sorrowful for my unending sin, and the effects of sin on this earth, yet always rejoicing.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
"For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."
Friday, November 6, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Every time i think I truly believe it in full, the wonder is revealed to me in greater ways, causing me to reconsider and take greater hold of heaven. Oh, i'm so proud to be a Jesus Freak.
It's weird, I thought that you couldn't praise God when you were stressed and unhappy, but right now I am incredibly happy, and I'm so stressed out that I can't believe I haven't cracked yet. I've got atleast 8 hours of chemistry studying to do before and exam on wednesday, which would be fine except for the fact that I haven't got more than 3 hours of free time all weekend. I've gotta write a message (with God's help thank goodness) to give to our brothers at the homeless ministryon sunday, I've got a music theory test on monday, I've got a engineering project to work on a lot this weekend, I've got a 24/7 prayer event to go to on halloween (probably one of the greatest things anyone will ever do in life is to pray for an hour or two at 2 or 3 in the morning) I've got another 4 hours of chemistry online homework to do, and I've got to write an english essay before tuesday, I've got a chemistry LAB to do. whew. I could cry, but i'm too happy.
To seek the emotional highs of Knowing Jesus and not go for the hard working/ sacrifice part of knowing him (really knowing him) is to not desire enough. This past semester has probably been the most stressful part of my life ever, but it's ben the most amazing, walking with Jesus the whole time.
Christ- you make all things new. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Lusting after just about every girl I see, letting my guard down on purpose to put myself in slavery yet again
Trying to get people to think nice thoughts about me
looking forward to certain events solely because there are going to be attractive girls there.
Constantly giving up time to acquire more of Christ in order to get on facebook or twitter or gmail
Constantly cutting my prayers short in order to get more sleep
Valuing certain people more because they look better, are more like me, or their favor towards me works out to my benefit
Putting off doing me homework in order to goof off and accomplish nothing
Shying away from meeting people who i feel may threaten my beliefs
Acting like I have pure motives when they are really sour.
Eating way more than I need.
Starting to live in order to acquire the reputation of a Christ follower so people will look up to me, instead of getting my praise and fulfillment solely from God. (and oh how possible it is to get fulfillment from God- and oh sweet it is too)
Chasing after things that are temporary
Not CARING about people
Not loving people
Doing everything I do in some moments, absentmindedly hoping that it will earn praise from somebody.
Trying to tell people my past accomplishments (by the grace of God) and acting humble about it.
Being totally nontransparent.
Not being myself
Not listening to people's hearts
Not speaking truth into people's hearts
Being out for myself
To think that I once believed I was perfect. I thank God for revealing these sick truths to me, but I dismiss them, just as Christ dismissed them, in order to strive on toward the future of the joy of love and purity and all that is Christ!
Nature is incredibly symbolic to Christianity (just as I believe it was meant to be). Many people see nature as pretty, peaceful, and good to look at. It is viewed as a nice place to relax, a nice place to take a stroll- not particularly threatening or demanding, just nice.
But then there are people who have lived in nature. Those who have scaled staggeringly steep icy mountains, swum in deadly freezing ocean water, fought grizzly bears, struggled to survive for weeks and months at a time with nothing but a knife, shed blood time and time again for careless mistakes while hiking across the country, kayaked through lightning bolts and freezing rain, lived in a camel skin for days to escape the heat, lived solely on wild berries, and nearly frozen to death in the tundra- these people know, nature isn't just nice to look at- there's something more to it, something that awakens the human heart. These people understand and highly respect the harsh and unrelenting beauty of nature.
In the same way, some view Christianity (and actually try to pull off living in such a way) as just being a nice person, being all lovey dovey, tame, calm, Righteous, peaceful, "nice to look at", unrisky, and unexperimental, not for the person who desires a true life. It's easy to buy this lie, in the same way that it's easy to buy the lie that nature is peaceful and unthreatening. These people have only walked on the edge of the woods. If I asked the man I recently heard of who was tied to a tree and whose hands were cut off because he would not renounce the name of Jesus in order to advance the Gospel if Christianity was "nice to look at", he would most likely laugh. If I ventured away from the edge of the woods of Christianity , where a majority of Church goers will never dare to go, I may find teens my own age fighting sleep for hours and hours to pray, I may find people my own age waging all out mental war on their desire to succumb to their impure nature. If I look into the heart of Christianity, I may find people even younger than me fasting for clarity of the spirit, I may find people in foreign countries- tied up, covered in blood, with their limbs separated from their body, in tears, crying "Worthy is the lamb who was slain!" I may see young and old men and women who would joyfully give up their life for another's ransom. And how they sing praise not just before these sacrifices, but morely afterwards! You don't hear about these kinds of people very often, but that's for this reason- because they couldn't care less what anyone thought of them, what they looked like in front of anyone, if people were thinking nice thoughts or bewildered thoughts about them. If I looked and lived deep in the heart of Christianity, all of this bashing of the name of the Church would make sense to me, because I would see that the reason the church in America is being bashed is because it is full of people who are sitting on the edge of the woods looking outwards, not sure if they're willing to go any deeper for fear of shedding blood. Those who have lived in the heart of Christianity have developed a respect and love for its harsh and unrelenting beauty.
Monday, October 26, 2009
The beauty of creation seems to blow face book, video games, tv screens, everything else.. out of the water. Oh how wonderful it is to not allow every part of me to be caught up in my daily schedule, to be able to see the beauty of the God who died for me! Yes God, you are not a passive and timid God, you are daring and bold and brave! You go with open eyes, you go with boldness, yet love, unwitnessed in any other human except Jesus Christ!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
They go to church and they see it as the necessary weekly thing in order to "make sure i'm saved" and then, and only then, do they get back to "real life". They may even be very good people (in the eyes of the world), but they don't understand anything about Christ. When you don't know Christ, you do not know God. I don't pretend to be a judge, but I only want to reveal the truth so that as many as possible will be saved.
Church, it is not a weekly thing where you sing boring songs, recite pointless chants to this God who is far up there and who you never seem to be able to have a connection with, church is a joyful gathering of worship for people who've been living their lives totally submersed in his will every. single. day. Every hour of the day. The people that church is joyful for are those who are taking every thought of their own, making captive to Christ- casting all else aside for his glory, living in his love and lifting him up higher through their lives.
This is what most people don't understand.
What does it meant to believe in the son of God??
It means to truly believe that you are saved! Not just saved from Hell, but saved from a life that leads to hell!! We are rescued from a life of living for the complacent empty comfort of living for our bodies. Rescued from it. Now that our destination is called heavenward, so our desire for the joy and purity and love of heaven also will form. Only when we realize that giving it all up for cause of Christ is the ultimate, real, raw, and piercingly satisfying way to live life, will we start to live in such a way.
To believe in Jesus Christ means to believe that your every single heart beat, every breath that fills your lungs, everything you have has become a downright provision from God in order to do his will. If you are a Christ follower and you are still alive, then God has work for you to do. Otherwise, he would've already taken you to heaven. We must realize that upon salvation, belinging not to this earth, everything we have becomes a tool in glorifying God. When we Glorify God- the good news is preached to others, so that they may glorify God. When we glorify God, we are bringing God's love and mercy to the earth so that more may be saved.
"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
"Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."
15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Believing that we've been rescued from a life of complacency in light of the huge amount of work we have to do for God's kingdom- and acting on it. That is believing in God.
Praise the Lord, he has been so active in my life, now that I reflect on it as I'm about to give my testimony to my friends. His mighty hand has guided me in amazing ways, ever since I was in middle school, and even before, and I didn't realize it. I also am beginning to feel healing from the way past life of sin has scarred my heart upon reflecting on just how much God has healed and rescued me from.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I've resolved to make war against myself.
My mean streak against my sinful nature has grown soft and permissive. My heart grew dim- NEVER want that to happen again. It amazes me just how absolutely dead I feel when the joy of the cross is not dancing all over my heart. I never want to go back to normal again.
Praying, praying, praying, because praying is all I can do. Pray and see amazing things happen, I'm not even kidding. It's so hard at first, then you get used to it and depend on it. Pray.
Resolved: To adhere to the bible verse "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these will be added to you"
I will pursue my goals of the Glorification of God with all of my might, take no shortcuts, accept no compromise, accept no breaks. I will fight this evil nature of mine with the sword of the word of God, and when It's all over, I'll lay my trophies at Jesus' feet, fall down, and worship- at last, face to face, my heart gloriously complete.
Hope is rising. There's revolution beating its breast in the hearts of my brothers and sisters in Christ. There's a whole new kingdom slowly making its way across the earth, and we the redeemed, despite the ridicule of those who cannot see, will give our all to His purpose.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
As for me, I've come to see that I am the embodiment of sin. My every bone is laced with it- it consists of me and I consist of it. My most pure thought is filled with more selfishness and hate than I can imagine. Every time I turn from sin, I turn in a direction that fills me with pride for my lack of sin, Ironic isn't it? My most pure hearted, eloquent, desperate prayer is filled with enough sin to condemn the whole world to hell. I can't even reach out in purity without a million other self seeking thoughts pouring into my mind. My whole body is depraved and sicker than anyone. I am the embodiment of wickedness, I can't escape my crimes, because everywhere I go to escape them, I find myself in the act of others. My debts are high and my funds are zero. I can't think a single good thought. Honestly. Whenever I thought I reached out to a person because I loved them, I think back and realize that there was pride weaved into this good intention- thus canceling out all goodness. Whenever I thought I was treating the opposite sex with purity- I find enough lust in my actions to make some vomit. My past and my present are so condemned in their drowning efforts to be "good" that all experience says that I should stop trying. Does God not have every reason to hold me accountable for my crimes? But God has thrown himself in the grave for me. God has become the curse of my sin, so that I may be the blessings of his righteousness. Jesus poured himself out for me- now the reign of death in my heart has been gloriously ended- Jesus Christ sitting enthroned in glory, with the power of death in chains, desperately trying to get a foothold on its ascent to the throne. Not gonna happen. I trust in the one who overcame all death.
The same power that conquered the grave lives in me.
I say now that If God is something that is honored at football games and before dinner, at church and Wednesday nights, yet none else- and that rule following has become the pinnacle of Christianity- then I tell you the truth- you are a Jew. Following rules you can never fulfill will never get you into heaven, never fill you with otherworldly joy, or fill you with love. It will only alienate you from Christianity. Listen- God has blinded the hearts of those who have not seized Christ- those who have not given EVERYTHING to Him and who are living with other goals other than His will. God has blinded their hearts to His Glory and truth because they never wanted any of it in the first place. If you are not constantly having a mental war against sin, if Christ and his love isn't on your mind a majority of your time, if judgement is your justification, If it makes you uncomfortable to freely admit that God is in control and that everything you have is from Him, If you live with a life goal that is anything other than God's will- God has blinded your heart. Is He justified in doing this? More than justified. We never wanted Him anyway. We reject Him on a daily basis, he gives us free will by protecting us from the very truth that we naturally hate because of sin's enthronement. If this statement produces conviction in your heart- good, act on it. Perhaps in acting on it you may be filled with the most glorious joy of your life.
The Bible is our paradise we retreat to, not TV.
The Church is the Bride of Christ. Church is people. We are the bride of Christ. If I am married to Jesus in my heart, am I not to desire to talk to Him?? The same way a wife hangs on to every word of her husband and longs to spend time with him, so Jesus must be our retreat and our paradise, our hiding place. What kind of spouse goes around declaring their love for their significant other, and comes home and ignores them? Prayer is a weapon against sin, and a tool for our happiness. God speaks in truths, where else can these convicting truths be put upon our heart except in communication with our spouse of the heart? No prayer is no relationship. Much prayer is blossoming relationship.
Jesus is alive! We need to take hold of this power given especially to us!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I do know one thing. I agree with John Piper, Christianity is all out WAR against ourselves. Against our selfishness, our lust, our pride, our excess desires, our craving.. I have noticed that war against my own flesh and sin was something that naturally started forming in my thought process while following Christ.
Don't complain about your addictions or feel sorry for yourself, make WAR against yourself.
Great video with Piper talking about it.
This is the greatest thing that could happen to humanity. Jesus Christ is the greatest gift anyone could ever receive, and its the goal of my life to do God's will in helping people cherish Him and take hold of His glory and satisfaction.
This isn't just for teenagers. It's not just for people as old as me either- its for everyone. To whom much is given, much is expected.
Praying to be salty and bright.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Like at church, you walk up to a person and smile all happy and stuff and they just give you this look and something inside you says "Oh no! they know."
Now making more efforts to be real about everything even when I'm confused.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
We're never going to know what we believe in unless we're clinging to that very thing for dear life. God is our only hope and our only victory.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Forget what is past. Strive toward the future, run the race in order to obtain a greater reward in heaven and in your heart. Philippians 3:13-14
Seek Christ and the beauty of His sacrifice out first- remember that embracing the beauty of His given love, and giving it, is more valuable than anything else. It does not perish. Matthew 6:33
Just as we have been loved, cherished, and died for- let us follow in His footsteps by loving, cherishing, and dying to ourselves for other people. Matthew 16: 24-25 Hebrews 12:2
Worry about today only. This afternoon, or tonight, may never happen. Live like your burden only rests in today, in the task of storing up treasure, and healing and freeing hearts. Matthew 6:34
Get rid of the stuff that slows you down, fix your eyes on Jesus Christ solely. All else inhibits. Hebrews 12:1-2
Monday, September 28, 2009
"Whatever you do for the least of these, you did for me."
This trait of love is something you can only acquire through years of pursuing the riches of Christ with all your heart. But I know it will be so joyful to have!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I went to pray before i went to bed and I fell asleep, 2 times, and eventually i fell asleep on my bed when i was praying. Basically, only got in about 20 seconds of a prayer before zonking off... i think these are the times when God looks at the mess we make out of ourselves when we try to live without him, smiles, and extends his hand again. I feel a voice telling me that I should quit christianity now, that I am never going to be worthy of Christ following again, but I know that is not god's voice. He's the giver of life. So now, this morning, i've learned my lesson and i'm going back to reading the bible, because its got more meaning and living water for my thirsty heart to drink deep from than an entire ocean could for my physical thirst. I thank God for his mercy.
Friday, September 25, 2009
People are so wonderfully unique and beautiful. I hope we can never forget that they are the image of the Lord, yet in weakness. Imagine the way we could wake people's hearts with the power of Christ's love? It's the heart of humanity.
You don't get songs sung about you, tears shed because of you, or hearts rejoicing because of you when you sit around and watch TV.. or when you live constantly seeking your own comfort, or when you come home and ignore the people in your family because you "deserve" rest. In fact, you don't inspire any of the things listed above when you're doing it to have your name honored, because, somehow you find yourself unable to make sacrifices for other people when the main motivation is for you. Only in Christ can we put our whole trust, in order to inspire the heartfelt coming to life of people's hearts and gratitude expressed by imitation.
To have songs sung about you, you put all your stock in the Lord and what he has for us, you sacrifice your life, endure beatings and floggings that rip your body apart, you give up your perfect life on a cross of curses and shame, and receive the penalty for something you never deserved- for the freedom of humanity. Though we cannot do these things in our state, Jesus said, take up my strength and Go, do likewise.
Is that to say that we don't deserve every bit of pain we experience? Absolutely not. By grace we receive comfort, by grace we receive a small fraction of our due penalty, with God knowing and working it together so that we will only grow closer to Him. But we are to take up our crosses, endure shame, endure sacrifice, endure pain and rejection- all for the joy set before us when triumph comes. It can be hard, but Christ is there, and he is stronger than the force of death that was formerly over us.
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."a]">[a]
7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
12Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13"Make level paths for your feet,"b]">[b] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Look at number 12.
Its evident here that we don't do this only for our own joy in the cross, but we do it for the beauty of humanity also. We do it for the people around us who are blind and trapped in their obsession with the things of this life. We let them see how much stock we have put in the Lord, and they will be inspired to do the same.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I will use myself as an example. I'd never really experienced Christ's love, or his heart changing truth, until the a little past the last quarter of my senior year. Until then, I was so desperate for some satisfaction. I practiced my trumpet day in and out, like 2 hours a day.. because people looked up to my skills and I got a lot of popularity for it.. I needed that popularity/admiration, not because I needed it, but because I was not satisfied with Christ, not because he isn't satisfying, but because I hadn't even welcomed him into my own heart. It's amazing to me how much he has taken place of in his satisfaction. I don't need anything else to satisfy anymore! I am free! if only i can spur on people to take hold of this freedom and see the wonder of it!
"With one voice we SING! Hallelujah!!! All the earth Cries Out.. Hallelujah!! With the angels sing, Hallelujah! Jesus Christ is King!!!" "Glow" By hillsong.
one thing that has struck me to the core of my heart recently is just how much we can rely on God to come through in all our requests, to be there exactly when we most need him, to protect us when all seems lost, and to give us hope in all situations. Prayer works. it really does.
This is on my heart. many people are totally convinced that Christians are all judgemental, hypocrites, and hateful people. i wish with all of my heart that people could see what christ really looks like- at work in a person- selfless sacrifice, real love, and adventurous curiosity. If our treasure is truly in heaven, then why do we act as if we're hanging on to every little bit of satisfaction on earth? I include myself.
Like someone once said- We would be ticked off if someone started preaching to everyone that Christ had not risen and that his resurrection was non-existant, yet we attest to this lie in the way we treat others who mean the most to us. Taking hold of the power of the ressurection is the whole point of Christianity. Take all the ridiculous rules, doctrine, tradition become doctrine.., canons, creeds, and everything else away except the words of Jesus- "Love me with all your heart, And in turn you will love people" This is the whole point of everything- embracing the hope that comes in the spirit of Christ- but people are too uptight and dependant on the world's approval to stoop down and live a life that meets God's approval only.
John Piper "The love of human praise is the root of Unbelief" And so if human praise is craved, then it will be hard for anyone to stoop down in the eyes of society and live a life that gets its satisfaction with the spirit of Christ and with the works God has prepared.
There is hope. For those to whom church has become a tiring once a week trip for no reason, there is hope- because we find hope in giving it all away for the cause of Christ. Am I being radical? Am i reading a different bible than most people? Am I crazy? i hope not.. i'm just reading the words the Jesus said. He said for us to give Him our all if we love him, and so we do, and the world hates us, because they don't understand how we have so much hope in this one thing. The world doesn't just mean people outside of church. The world means people who are blind to the love of Christ. That happens inside the church also. how crazy would it be to other people if we started living like christ inspires us to- giving our all for God, in our hope of the bliss of heaven?
"May I never boast except in the Cross of Christ Jesus"- Paul is such an inspiration.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"Just a glimmer of your Glory and the EARTH falls to its knees"
"You level mountains, with a whisper, and you calm the raging seas"
Monday, September 14, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
And so, I'm forgetting the past, and striving on toward the future, running the race with the strength and willpower that comes only from Christ. It's by love I've been saved!!! Praise the one who payed my debts and raised this life back from the dead!!
It's so great to be free. Christ, be my strength!
Anyways, I'm actually being majorly successful with writing a worship song- something I've never been able to do! we'll see if it sounding alright is just an illusion in my head or not haha.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
“My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh my soul”
Sin, is not simply the breaking of some pointless law. Sin is heartbreak. Sin is deceit. Sin is lies from the one apart from God who desires our destruction- and Christ is the one from God, who desires us to live.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Don't anyone let this discourage- because just as you practice the guitar, you do it to get better and enjoy the newfound strength in your hands. glory to god for his patience with me.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews something.
I rejoice in the resurrection of Christ, and I strive with all of the might Christ's given me to show that he is indeed magnificent above all else. peace
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I suppose people will think good of me for attributing it all to Christ- but the only thing that I've ever done at all is desire happiness.
There's temporary happinness and there's long-lasting, deep in our heart- happiness. I only wanted the latter. I mean.. it makes sense right? I want, for MYself, to be happy all the time, not just a little bit of the time, but all the time. And so, in my pursuit of happiness, I've cast off the things that will give me temporary happinness and put stock in those that will give me lasting happiness. Does this make me great? No. It makes the giver of the happiness great. All glory and honor belong in the name of Jesus Christ. In saying this, I can almost feel, somehow, some kind of honor being attached to my name, just by declaring this- but i say no! if you feel any good feelings toward me, cast them off and place them in the name of Jesus Christ- so that it my be glorified and lifted higher. I'm serious. I'm the one who was a pervert half my life. I'm the one who was so addicted to people praising me that I couldn't see straight. I'm the one who has such an inwardly oriented view of the world, that all my desires consist of serving myself. I'm the one who, even now, am so weak that I may be letting pride into my heart by typing this very thing. I'm the one who has impure motives, i'm the one who used to shamefully lust after women and still do, though I'm no longer suubject to it through Christ the King. Do you see what I'm saying? I feel as if, even by praising Christ like this, I'm attaching some kind of honor to my name.. Cast it off of my name and take it to Christ! I don't want any honor, not because I'm great or anything, but because I've decided to get my happiness from the things that last forever and not those that last an hour, a week, a year, or for a couple decades.
Recently, I looked around, and I saw the position I was in. I probly have the respect of a lot of people, and many people probably think I have a good heart, and many people probably think that I have good writing skills and i'm a nice person and whatever. And I started to look around and see that I liked it. I took stock in my position and I slowed down. I started to think, that, for some reason, public approval and pride and the gifts God had given me were going to make me happy. Ever since that moment of low-living, my heart has been miserable and deprived. I can't depend on pride and public approval because this isn't the stuff of what my heart's made for. My heart is made to be in communion with Christ.
And so, I cast off all for the joy of the cross. I cast off all I ever thought was good about me and place it in my hope in Christ. We must press on. Never stop, never settle for less. Keep on giving it all up, in order to seize the joy that's been set before all of us. To Jesus Christ our Lord, truly, all honor, all praise!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I spent a lot of my early life in church pretending to be a good christian to get girls to like me, and then I started pretending to be all good and stuff to my school to get people's respect, but, now, I don't give a flip what anybody thinks about me- because the God of the universe approves.
There's so much social interaction between people, just waiting to happen, but it's not, because people are so afraid to open up- be the one who breaks the ice that may not've been broken and start warm frienships, or just smile at people- my goal for the next while.
We can't be purposeful servants of Christ if our heart's aren't in a sharp realization of how close heaven is. Otherwise- we start putting our stock in earthly stuff. My other goal.
The effects of sanctification are taking place in me, and I feel this happiness like nothing else- I'm starting to feel sick and dismissive of anything that would lead me to take pride in myself- while earlier my heart welcomed it in to rip it apart even more. God's been working much in my heart lately, and it feels like chaotic peace. Awesomeness (sanctus real song).
I really want to find some way to bring american youth to treasure Christ- scratch that- not just American youth, everyone. But I figure I'd have more influence on those my age group. i wish i could write a book and sell it to every kid from age 15-21. but who's to say it'd have any effect? i ramble a lot lol.
It's time for bed, its time for gettin in the word and praying- no more typing, i'm getting sleepy. goodnight :D
Monday, August 31, 2009
There's a lot of things I have learned, and I'll write about a few.
First of all- Paul wasn't joking as he said, "Imitate me, as I imitate Christ". He didn't live in some fuzzy easy world that was made softer and fuzzier by the thousands of years that separate us from him- although our minds try to make it so. Paul was beaten, stoned, beaten some more, lashed, flogged, and put in jail, ridiculed, and i'm sure a whole lot more- all for the cause of Christ. He doesn't mean, when he says this, that we are to revel over how great he was and to regard him as worthy of Christ. He means that we're truly to imitate him. Does that mean that we're all going to end up being beaten or flogged or stoned? No. But what he's trying to communicate is that Christ and his provision and will for your life should be- and is-more than worthy of you attaching that kind of value to it. At first, when I realized this, I was sad. I was thinking of how much I would have to give up to follow Christ. Then i thought about what I was giving up- maybe an excess of food, comfort, public approval, maybe a dating life, the ignorance of breaking other's hearts... etc.. I thought and i realized that I wasn't giving up anything- I was making a return to the way Humans were meant to live. And so, I have vowed to fight, with all of my broken heart, though I may be ridiculed and, as I'm feeling called to go on the mission field, hurt or bloodied, for the cause of the one who's sent me.
America is in a very pathetic state. The collective of america lives for comfort and soft.. easy.. leisure. What's happened to the radical Christian sacrifice for Christ? What's happened to a throwing off of excess, leisure, comfort, in a heart- determined aim at getting closer to him. I mean, its a true way to tell if someone really desires him, if they are throwing off all the excess and giving it up for Christ's cause. We don't need the excess. Yeah. Society has tricked us, all of our lives, with ridiculous tv commercials, and other trivial frivolous junk , to feel like, for some reason, we deserve all this excess and plain worthless junk. But its not true. In order for Christ to look magnificent, he's got to be the lifeblood and prize of every one who claims to know him.
I have also learned this. Whenever we have religious highs, its because we have the willingness, in these moments, to give all away that we have for God. That's why we feel so great- because that's the way we were meant to live. We see God's mercy, grace, and protection, and we realize it's not about ourselves- and the layer of complacent, sightless, ignorance, that sits on us all throughout life, is lifted. And it's an amazing feeling. Imagine feeling like this all the time. A high of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, true heroism and selflessness- all the time. That's what giving up for Christ gives us (his heart)- and I was just going along following christ and feeling that deep heart conviction to give all up for Christ, and something happened, after the devil whispered some stuff into my heart, and suddenly I felt this huge wave of ignorance and half-hearted giving wash all over me. I think this is true suffering. I was holding back something from God- in my pride- I was SO miserable. It's like you come back from a mission trip and you've had this huge high from God's spirit resting on you, in this conviction of selfless giving, and then something about ordinary life makes us feel like we have to start taking back those things that we had so freely given to God (like our lives, our pride (putting our boasting in God), and suddenly we've got this huge wave of ignorance pressing on us and no matter how much we look at the Bible, pray, seek, listen to worship to songs, that great love high doesn't come back. It's because, when we give, we recieve Christ, when we take, we recieve what we took. When we give away our future to Christ on a mission trip or whatever- we recieve Christ, and when the grind of every day life starts back, something about the desperateness of being in that cage of a daily schedule causes us to start taking it back, (and he gives us back exaclty what we want- our hearts, and so now our hearts are in our own slippery hands, and we start putting our hearts in public opinion, money, sex, food, whatever, and we're miserable again.)
i see it as kind of like putting your heart in penny stocks. (your heart- your LIFE savings (haha)) and you take your life savings out of the more secure, long term stocks, that you know are going to give you a wealth in the future, and start putting them in these super fast, insecure, yet very attractive because of the way the value of the money invested goes up and down almost exponentially. before hand you had this feeling of security of putting your savings in the secure stocks, your heart was at peace- but that wasn't enough action, so you took it out and stuck it in the penny stocks, and suddenly your heart's racing and your panicking all the time. wow- sorry that analogy failed on many levels lol.
But God has showed me the Key. In order to gain this high of love, not temporarily, but for the rest of our lives, we need to, from our heart, declare in bold confidence, that everything we have belongs to the cause of Christ. If we're not willing to surrender everything to the cause of Christ- then we'll probly feel a little antsy and uncomfortable about saying this with our hearts- but, no fear, seek out Christ in prayer, and the New testament every day, and he will pt your heart in the right place.
And so God has a way of punishing, in depriving me from this joyful holy communion with him and his will that i'm enjoying even as I type. (not that my salvation has left me, but that God's sending me a message by showing me that my only true joy can be in the Cross). He punishes me by showing me what my life was like before (whenever i hold something back from him), and suddenly, I run to him on my knees and desperately, for the life of ignorance i've been slowly rid of is not one i'm willing to return to, at any cost.
They won't read our book if we won't read theirs. Society isn't going to have any respect for Christians if we have no respect for them. We were called to live- not to judge.
As it turns out, the people who the comfortable Christian middle class "prosperity gospel" people call "a little weird" are the ones who have sold all out for Christ. Obviously, they're going to look a little weird when their treasure is truly in heaven.
One last random thing.
When is it that we're happier? When we've been treated to the height of material happiness.. we're on the cruise ship, sittin in the beach chair.. sipping a lemonade.. staring out into the sky? that comfort's just life-changing... Or is it when we're on our knees and in tears, singing to the glory of the Risen savior, having worked tirelessly all day for someone who's life was crashing in on them until Christ appointed our help? When we refuse to talk to our friend after they've said something heart-breaking to us, even when theyre sorry, but are to scared to come talke to us, or when we ourselves go to the other friend and give them a hug and tell them that they're forgiven, and draw the near-end friendship even closer in a tearful reconciliation? Christ will prevail in this world. I'm sure of it. As long as people seek TRUE happiness.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
There are so many things that we use to fill in the gaping holes we have in our hearts. Kind of like turning on the TV when you get home, to drown out the silence in your heart that is screaming so loudly that you need something else to drown it out. Now, we have all the jelly, butter, milk, eggs, honey, you name it.. facebook, twitter, gmail, internet.., musical instruments, books, magazines, myspace, laptops, ipods, cell phones, online blogs, tatoos, weird piercings, expensive cars, excess of money, exotic foods, girlfriends, boyfriends, anything, Anything! -to fill the gaping holes in our hearts. Something deep, deep inside me- something that seems to have it's origin from the beginning of time.... Something that's easy to ignore, like an old wise man sitting in a chair, rocking back and forth, quietly whispering the truth in my ear- something deep inside me says that we were made to get along with just the bread. Something's telling me that true adventure lies in casting off our slavery to the excesses and finding adventure in the freedom. We were made to enjoy- not to serve-the gifts we've been given.
People today live too much in this little mental cocoon of security. John Piper- and i, having read his book, wants to shatter this. Think about it. We act in ignorance in everything we do- we don't know whats going to happen as a result of the decisions we make. I could be killed in the next 30 minutes. My heart could stop (and it feels like its about to after just eating a deliciously American bacon egg and cheese biscuit haha) and I could be dead in the next few hours. I could be driving home today and be killed by a drunk driver. The man who refuses to give to the homeless person, or donate money to a charity or whatever, could die in the next minute, only to have ALL his possessions given away to others in his death. And so the only thing we can do is act in faith of God's will. We need only what he gives us, and we don't need to get anxious about finding things, because his truth, his love, his provisions for his will in our lives is enough. We're to give like we're not certain there is a tommorow, because, for certain, there is not. We could all die at any time in our lives, but we're acting and living like we have to keep all these things to ourselves to preserve our happiness, when true happiness comes in realization of our ignorance- in that we have no idea if we're going to live until the next hour. We've got to shatter this false sense of security. Risking for the cause of Christ should be an every day living thing. We take all adversity and pain to the cross. And so, I can claim no life experience in the "real world" except for 3 weeks in a secular college, but I know for sure that the people who're living in constant frustration and bitterness, who think money and provision for life is the cause, means, and end of all the things we do in the world (and yet still somehow believe in the Cross?) are misled. Jesus said that we can't get caught up in the anxieties of life- of providing for family and other things. We're to work hard, take what comes our way, and do our best. For what God's will is- he will provide us with what we need. not what we greed- but what we need.